Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division has investigated an "unusually high number of deaths in 2017, believed to be the result of illegal drug overdoses," police reported earlier today.
At least six deaths have been investigated as “probable overdose” since the first of the year. The investigations into the deaths were initiated due to evidence located at the scenes and/or witness statements, police say.
Typically SCMPD investigators say they respond to no more than one or two accidental drug overdoses a month.
"Currently there is no evidence that suggests one particular drug has contributed to the apparent drug overdoses. Drugs found at the scene range from heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs," say police.
The actual cause of death is determined by the Medical Examiner or Coroner, who interprets the results of an autopsy and subsequent toxicology report. The results of the toxicology report typically take 8 weeks or longer, according to police.
“We want to alert our citizens of the dangers of illegal drugs. We are also asking parents, spouses, other family members, and friends of known drug users to help us share the message of the danger of taking illegal drugs and illegal prescription drugs. Often these drugs are laced with synthetic opioids, making the drug even more dangerous,” says Police Chief Joseph H. Lumpkin, Sr.